Swiss Theatre Awards

Knuth and Tucek

Nominated for the Schweizer Kleinkunstpreis 2019

Knuth and Tucek

“Heimatfilm” meets cabaret

Knuth and Tucek are actor Nicole Knuth, who was born in 1964, grew up in Küsnacht in a theatrical family originally hailing from Vienna and trained at the drama school in Zurich that is now part of the Zurich University of the Arts; and singer Olga Tucek, who was born in 1973, grew up in Zurich and trained as a classical singer at the conservatory in Winterthur. When not on stage as part of the duo, Olga Tucek also works on her own as a writer and performer of “Lieder” evenings. The pair have been touring since 2004, presenting a total of eleven satirical theatre and music programmes at countless venues in the German-speaking countries and earning themselves the region’s leading cabaret awards along the way: the Salzburger Stier (2011), Switzerland’s Cornichon cabaret prize (2013) and the Deutscher Kleinkunstpreis in the chanson category (2014).

Referencing the “Heimatfilm” genre of nostalgic cinema, their productions blend spirited vocal numbers with the sounds of folk music and grotesque everyday stories with political satire, fit into none of the conventional cabaret categories. Certain characteristic features run like a thread through their works, from “Heimat” (Homeland, 2017), “Rausch!” (Intoxication, 2014) and “Freiheit” (Freedom, 2012) back to their enduringly popular “Jesses Maria!” from 2007: a witty and eloquent take on the meaning of homeland in the Swiss context, delivered at breakneck pace with a bewildering mix of angelic voices, fiendishly acerbic observation and rock-band accordion. Favourite topics include political gaffes and everyday grievances. In 2016’s “Hexe!” (Witch!), for example, they explore the darker side of local history at the venue where they are performing. Ultimately, optimism and fighting spirit win out – and audiences are encouraged to practise civil disobedience at the earliest opportunity.
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